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Are Electric Cars Really Cheaper Than Gas-Powered Vehicles?

by Peter Diamond August 27, 2018

Are Electric Cars Really Cheaper Than Gas-Powered Vehicles?

As the price of electric cars is dropping, they still look expensive compared with many gasoline-powered cars. Although the primary cost may be a bit more, once you calculate the cost of ownership, maintenance and fuel, electric vehicles are a bargain despite the initial price-tag.

The average electric car transaction price decreased by 11 percent from last year. The more affordable models, like the Tesla Model 3 or the Chevrolet Bolt, can last about 230 miles for around $35,000.

Gas-powered vehicles often require replacing parts that go bad over time. Electric cars don't need as many parts to operate, meaning you'll often save on routine maintenance and replacements. Electric motors only have one moving piece, while a traditional engine can have dozens. With an electric vehicle, you don't need to worry about things like oil, fan belts, air filters, timing belts, head gaskets, cylinder heads and spark plugs. Keeping an electric car running costs less when compared to conventional automobiles.

Since the cost of electricity is relatively stable and domestically produced, it's important to remember when considering the shifting politics around gas prices.

Of course, the true cost of electricity is dependent on where you live. In Hawaii, electricity can cost about 24 cents per kilowatt hour compared to about seven cents per kilowatt hour in Louisiana. The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is about 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

The Department of Energy says that charging an electric car costs about half as much as fueling a gasoline-powered car. In the U.S., it costs on average 2.50 per gallon of gasoline, while it would cost $1.10 per eGallon to charge an electric car.

An average person spends around $540 driving an electric vehicle for about 15,000 miles per year. In some states, electric vehicle owners can fully fuel their vehicles for less than dollar, like in Oregon, where most drivers spend about $30 per month to charge up. Bottom line: investing in an electric car will probably save you a considerable amount of money over time.
Peter Diamond
Peter Diamond


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